Site of the Original “Red House”

Joseph Treavy (1760-1825) and his wife Susanna Shaner (1761-1831) were born in PA and moved to Rockbridge County, VA. In 1783, land records indicate that the couple purchased the home of early settler John McDowell, known as the Red House because it was constructed of peeled logs stained with red ochre. McDowell had surveyed Benjamin Borden’s grant in exchange for a thousand acres of land. A Captain in the local militia, McDowell was killed in an Indian battle in 1742. Samuel McDowell, a Colonel in the American Revolution and a member of the Virginia Legislature, had also occupied the house. Ephriam McDowell, who was born in the house, became a surgeon and performed the world’s first ovariotomy.Jacob and Susanna tore down the original Red House and built a federal-style inn on the site. The establishment was a popular stage stop for many years. The inn, which is now a private home, is located about two miles north of the Sam Houston Memorial Wayside along Route 11 in Fairfield. A cemetery used by both the McDowell and the Treavy families is on the property.The Treavy family had connections to the nearby Timber Ridge Presbyterian Church, which may be the only colonial-era Presbyterian church still in use in the country.Among the children of Joseph and Susanna Shaner Treavy was Andrew Treavy (1790-1848) who married Catharine Higgins and had a named Robert Higgins Treavy. Robert Treavy married Margaret Shaw, whose family owned land in Augusta County, VA (and owned the Mount Torry Furance near Sherando at the time of the Civil War).Robert and Margaret Shaw Treavy had a daughter named Elizabeth “Bettie” Treavy who married Jesse Robert Bridge, a miner in Augusta County. Jesse and Elizabeth Treavy Bridge had a son named Edward Robert Bridge. Edward married Isabelle Henderson, and they settled on a farm in Augusta County near Sherando, where Edward ran a sawmill.Edward and Isabelle changed the spelling of their last name to “Brydge” for reasons unknown. All but one of their children adopted the new spelling. Their children: Oscar, George, Annie (died as an infant), Bessie, Amos, Edna, Viola, Paul, Silas and Vance.”

Submitted by:Vera Hailey195 Horseshoe CircleStuarts Draft, VA 24477phone: (540) 337-4021email: vtraven@cfw.com 

 

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